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#320138 - 08/26/10 07:52 PM Re: Small Car recommendations... [Re: Adrian]
tomtuttle Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8268
Loc: Tacoma
Get a room.

Okay, here's what's new with me.

I drove a 2004 Honda S2000. I fit just fine and it was very exhilarating. The ingress/egress was marginally easier for me than the Miata. I would have to get a very good deal on the one I drove (which is possible but unlikely) due to its relatively high mileage, absence of tonneau cover and holes in the top. I enjoyed driving it a lot, but it may be too raw of an experience for me on a daily basis. I am deeply concerned that its absolute demand to be driven at high RPM's would result in unfortunate encounters between me and the local gendarmes. Likewise, RWD isn't necessarily an asset for me given our weather - I'm not sure I should drive hard enough often enough to justify it. Still on the list.

Also drove a 2008 Civic Si coupe. It was also a complete blast to drive. Like the S2000, it doesn't really grab you until about 5500 RPM. It was comfortable and surprisingly roomy. I rather liked the ergonomics, but the sunroof is really tiny and I'm not sure I can talk myself into buying what I consider to be a relatively ugly car. OTOH, I can get one that is practically new within my budget. Even accelerating through corners, the FWD isn't off-putting. Still on the list, but emotion is fading somewhat. If I can change my thinking about how it looks and stop being seduced by convertibles, I might be done.

I like how both the Hondas use the naturally-aspirated VTEC engine. I like how they are reasonably economical and reliable.

Talked to my insurance company. They don't seem to care if I get a PRHT or soft-top Miata, which I thought was odd. All the sports cars I've been looking at are within about 5% of each other annually. They don't like insuring 350Z convertibles much. Also somewhat less keen on the Si. Overall, it looks like I don't really have to factor insurance cost into the equation.

I want to drive a RX-8. I'm a little skittish about the rotary, including the potentially SUV-like gas mileage. But those extra seats in the back would be handy, and it seems to strike a good balance between performance and manners. Wish the Honda looked like that.

Still thinking a lot about 350Z and Miata.

I'm not finding reasonably priced examples of late-model Subaru GT's. I would like to drive one of those, too.

I've virtually given up on European cars now for various reasons.

Can't find any Acura TL or Infiniti G35 with a stick. The G37 is too much money.

"Hey, let's watch the indecisive, risk-averse guy try to buy a sports car"

grin
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#320139 - 08/26/10 07:55 PM Re: Small Car recommendations... [Re: tomtuttle]
Ken.C Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 17741
Loc: NoVA
Originally Posted By: tomtuttle

"Hey, let's watch the indecisive, risk-averse guy try to buy a sports car"


I get to buy a sports car?
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#320140 - 08/26/10 07:56 PM Re: Small Car recommendations... [Re: Ken.C]
tomtuttle Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8268
Loc: Tacoma
We can start a club.
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#320141 - 08/26/10 07:57 PM Re: Small Car recommendations... [Re: tomtuttle]
Ken.C Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 17741
Loc: NoVA
I'm not sure about that. On the one hand, it seems wise to pool our decision making capabilities. On the other, it seems like it might be hazardous from a privacy standpoint.
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#320144 - 08/26/10 08:29 PM Re: Small Car recommendations... [Re: Ken.C]
michael_d Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 07/23/04
Posts: 3875
Loc: Up yonder
You're experiences with the lack of torque at lower RPM is what you'll find with all the 4 and 6 cylinders, unless their supercharged. The Rotary, not so much. The rotary actually has a great looking torque curve for an IC engine. This is also an issue with V8's to some extent. I used to struggle with this for years when I was building engines for money. I just couldn't get the young and stupid to understand that more isn't always better or more fun. They'd have some magical HP number in their heads more for bragging rights than winning races or having fun. You just can't have low end torque and high RPM horsepower both without stealing from one or the other with push rod activated cylinder valves. One day, F1 tech with solenoid actuated valves will trickle down and we'll have both, but that's a long ass way's off.

Maybe you should start looking at vettes Tom. A quick search shows several base model C-6 vettes with manual transmissions at or close to 25K. Here's a good buy>>>> http://forums.corvetteforum.com/c6-corve...emans-blue.html

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#320146 - 08/26/10 08:52 PM Re: Small Car recommendations... [Re: tomtuttle]
ClubNeon Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/06/09
Posts: 3448
Loc: Western Maryland, USA
I don't get where the myth of RWD being a liability in low traction situations comes from. Tires can only ever deliver some fixed amount of grip. When that is reduced it better to not have to divide what remains between both accelerating and cornering.

As long as its nose is not acting as a snow plow, I can drive my RX-7 in the snow better than anything else I've owned except the AWD AMC Eagle wagon.

The rotary engine just has the ability to use more fuel if you ask it to. If you keep your foot out of it, you'll get pretty good mileage. (I've never got good mileage from mine though.) smile
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Pioneer VSX-1018AH-K, PDP-5020FD, DV-79AVi
Axiom M22s, VP150, QS8s
Sony PS3, surround backs
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#320147 - 08/26/10 08:59 PM Re: Small Car recommendations... [Re: ClubNeon]
ClubNeon Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/06/09
Posts: 3448
Loc: Western Maryland, USA
Oh, over-steer vs. under. That's another thing that freaks me out about FWD cars, is that they're all set up to under-steer (heck, most American designed RWD cars do too). If I come into a corner too hot, I'd rather have the tail coming around, where I can correct with the throttle, than have the nose push out, where I go off the road.

Trailing throttle steer is something that takes a little getting used to. The first time I did get my RX-7 sideways from bit too much welly, I panicked, and lifted completely. Yeah, that was bad. I went from tail-out, to a complete spin in the opposite direction. Best thing to do, is stay on it, apply a little reverse lock of the wheel, and modulate your foot as needed.
_________________________
Pioneer VSX-1018AH-K, PDP-5020FD, DV-79AVi
Axiom M22s, VP150, QS8s
Sony PS3, surround backs
-Chris

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#320150 - 08/26/10 09:16 PM Re: Small Car recommendations... [Re: ClubNeon]
tomtuttle Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8268
Loc: Tacoma
Mike, I actually looked at (and drooled over) that car last night after you posted the link to that board. That would be a fantastic car.

Two problems - it's in Kentucky, and I've revised my mental budget down a little bit. Given that I'm finding pretty interesting candidates in the models I mentioned earlier under $20k, I would kind of like to stay in that range.

Chris, point taken on the RWD issue. I'm a dinosaur. I appreciate your perspective very much.

Y'all are great. Thanks again for being there.
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#320154 - 08/26/10 09:36 PM Re: Small Car recommendations... [Re: tomtuttle]
BobKay Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 03/23/10
Posts: 3116
Loc: Massachusetts Badlands
So, you're gonna eliminate an entire choice you said was a blast to drive, 'cause of a sunroof????

Girls make decisions like that!

What's next--cup holder too short a reach??

Seriously. Of all the Toyota, Mazda and Honda/Acura products I've had, Best overall has always been Honda. Best resale now. Used to be 'a Toyota,' or some other Japanese pallandrome. Mazda was fun to drive, but not awesome with age, unlike my Toyota's, Honda's/Acura.

200,000 in 8 yrs. on a Toy I bought new. Never replaced the clutch or any lamp inside or out. Got > 10% of new value when I sold it.

So, me, Honda vote. FWIW.


Edited by BobKay (08/26/10 09:37 PM)
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#320156 - 08/26/10 09:41 PM Re: Small Car recommendations... [Re: BobKay]
tomtuttle Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8268
Loc: Tacoma
Thanks for the vote, Bob smile

You know, now that you mention it, the cup holder in the S2000 was REALLY lame.

I might be down to these:

350Z
RX-8
Miata
S2000
Civic Si

Which is really quite a freaking accomplishment for me.
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